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A Day at Yad Sarah
In our revolving photo album above: 1: Flowers in bloom at the Day Rehabilitation Center. 2-5: Yonatan Libzon and family chose to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah with a trip to the Yad Sarah Experience; the tour included assembling crutches that were donated to Yad Sarah. 6: At the light rail station with a Yad Sarah walker. 7: On the floor of the lending center. *Thank-you to Eli Cohen who provides us with memorable photos of the Yad Sarah family of giving
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A Video to Warm the Heart
This moving video was screened at the annual event of the Friends of Yad Sarah in London and illustrates more than 40 years of activity - for the benefit of all Israelis. * In the video, veteran volunteer Vivian London speaks about her long association with Yad Sarah and the help that was there for her when she needed it * Photography and Editing: Simon Maurer * Research and Production: Benny Cohen, Public Relations
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Yad Sarah Reaches Out to Help Muquadam
Meet Muquadam, a two-and-a-half-year-old boy from Tanzania. He came to Israel under the auspices of Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), an NGO that arranges vital operations for children from developing countries in need of cardiac surgery. And Yad Sarah gave him a wheelchair to take home. In the photo: Muquadam with his mother and Yad Sarah Tourism Director Nadia Alalu.
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So Much More Than Just Wheelchairs!
They asked about borrowing a wheelchair - they received a complete guide to hosting an elderly relative in a safe and accessible environment * Reported by Shani Rosenfeld, director of the Exhibition and Guidance Center at Yad Sarah in Jerusalem * In the photo: Students of Social Work and Health Services, guests from Israel and abroad, come to the Center and get reliable information based on many years of professional experience
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In honor of Shavuot and the inauguration of Yad Sarah's new portal, Spokesman David Rothner spoke with the founder of Yad Sarah, Rabbi Uri Lupolianski. Busy as usual with meetings with division managers and directors on the development of services and branches and the acquisition of new medical equipment, he managed to find some time to sit down and talk about Yad Sarah – past, present and future.

Q: Forty-two years ago, you established Yad Sarah together with your wife, Michal. Over the decades, our country has changed beyond recognition. Social perceptions also changed. How do you see the world of volunteerism today compared to 1976 A: The scale of volunteering in Yad Sarah today cannot be compared to what it was four decades ago, and the volunteers, about 7,000, are involved in all aspects of "doing" at Yad Sarah: Planning, purchasing, construction, finance, public relations, etc. At the national level, the world of volunteering is a reflection of what society is going through in Israel, and in the past there was more of a pioneering spirit, a desire by everyone to see what he could do to improve the situation - in society and in the state. In general, due to Americanization and individualism, there is less desire to contribute to the whole, but Yad Sarah is and can be the island where the idea of ​​reciprocity and caring for the other is at the center of its being. This is one of the fundamental principles of the people of Israel and of Judaism, that all of Israel is responsible for each other. Encouraging the values of giving and volunteering should be a vital part of our educational programs from an early age and these values ​​need to be emphasized even more than in the past. Yad Sarah is a major factor in bringing the idea of ​​volunteering and giving to Israeli society, as a fundamental part of life. Q: What makes Yad Sarah unique as a place where so many people come to volunteer? A: Of course we need the inner feeling that a person wants to help, that his actions are doing good, and at Yad Sarah this has always been easy to understand and implement, because at Yad Sarah, we do not talk about theories, but rather about "doing." Someone needs to go to a wedding or a medical treatment – we take him there in one of our special vans. We simply "do." Our sages taught us something very interesting, which on the face of it may be puzzling. There is a difference between the observance of commandments between man and God, and the observance of commandments between man and his fellow man. In the first case, if he does the act but does not intend to fulfill the commandment, he does not fulfill the obligation of the commandment, and does not get credit for it. However, in the case of helping others, when the comandment is between man and his fellow man, the case is exactly the opposite. Even when someone doesn't realize he is helping another, he still has benefit from the act. For example, a person lost money in the street and a poor man found the money and bought food. Even though the first man never gave him the money and did not even know that he had lost it, he has performed a good deed. So it is in Yad Sarah: When I help someone, even if I do not know him, I help him, without preconditions. Since help and assistance are so vital, and usually come in moments of personal crisis, people feel much gratitude, and when they can, they come and volunteer to help other people who were in their situation. It is the perfect illustration of the expression: “Each one helps the other, saying to one another, “take courage!”” People actually harness a very small percentage of their abilities. If a person does things only in order to fulfill his duty, he uses very little of his strengths, but if he is in a place where he works with all his heart, because the matter is important to him, he reaches his potential and uses his abilities more than he would otherwise. Therefore, there is no doubt that we have seen success. We have opened many branches, developed many services, and helped many people, from all sectors. And the help is not only on the physical level with the service itself, but also on the emotional level, with a smile and empathy, with a feeling that I share your pain, which is just as important. We came to this because Yad Sarah has volunteers who care and doing good is important to them. They come not only out of duty, but because it touches them personally. So when they see something in the branch that is not working properly, when something is missing, it bothers them. They want things to be better. Yad Sarah is a mega-organization, and when I am asked if there is another such organization in the world, I answer that there are all sorts of things that Yad Sarah does that are done on a small scale in other places. There are churches around the world that help in various fields, and of course, there are Jewish charitable organizations all over the world. Nowhere is there an organization that does what we do on the scale of Yad Sarah. We have 108 branches in which we lend medical equipment, and each branch could have been a non-profit organization in its own right. The Transportation Service which carries 130,000 people every year ... The Day Rehabilitation Centers throughout the country, which provide so many different therapies... and of course the Emergency Call Center with 20,000 subscribers and 24/7 service. And so on and so on: Legal advice, dental treatments, life story documentation, of course the Frenkel Center for Emergency Medicine, and more ... At Yad Sarah everything is in one organization, under one roof, which, of course, saves a fortune and allows us to provide excellent services. Anyone who enters the branch has access to all the services available; someone may direct him to the Exhibition & Guidance Center, or ask him how else he can help, maybe there is a service in the Home and Community Division that can help him or his family… Q: Today's needs are different than in the past. There is a demand for new equipment, more elaborate and more expensive, and in general, Yad Sarah maintains large numbers of equipment. Logistical needs, including computing, are growing. How do you manage? A: As I mentioned, Yad Sarah does not rest on its laurels; we do not just want to do our duty, we care and it is important for us to develop, and to provide optimal service. Therefore, we introduce new and sophisticated equipment: Pulse oximeters, TENS machines, portable oxygen generators, and more. People are living longer today, but it is also important how they live ... People are leaving the house a lot more than they used to, and there is more accessibility, although there is still a lot to do on this subject. We try to help people be as mobile as possible, and to this end, we are investing in more and more equipment that facilitates this: lightweight mobile oxygen generators, lightweight wheelchairs, scooters, etc. We are constantly upgrading our equipment in order to help as many people as possible. Q: You used to say that wheelchairs do not grow on trees. The demands and needs are increasing, and so is the budget. How do you manage financially? A: Volunteers are a big part of how we do what we do. That is why they come to Yad Sarah, but they also understand how important and vital contributions are to our activities. It hurts them and me when someone asks for an item, and it is missing ... We need donations to continue working. The government gives only a very small amount of support. At one time, we received donations from the Administrator-General, today it passes through the government ministries and the support is minor. There are people in the government who act unreasonably and cannot be counted on, even though we save the country hundreds of millions. In the past, we were offered funding, but then we had to be subject to their decisions in one way or another, and we decided not to become involved. We have no connection to any political party. Most of the donations we receive are from within Israel, unlike universities or hospitals that receive budgets from the government as well as donations from abroad. We hope that people will understand that Yad Sarah is the state's oxygen, and donations are the oxygen that enables Yad Sarah to exist. There are many people who want to contribute, but we have to offer them something that speaks to them. Some of them can and do donate to purchase medical equipment, and there are those who are interested only in the elderly or in special needs children or in Holocaust survivors. There are many options at Yad Sarah. I think every volunteer has friends or acquaintances who can contribute, and they would certainly want to contribute if they were contacted. In the end, they will say thank you. Q: The connection between the headquarters and the branches is a subject that comes up frequently. How do you see this connection? A: Indeed, the connection between the headquarters and the branch managers and the other volunteers is important, and this is an area we would like to develop. There is good communication, but it is not tangible enough. The situation today is better than before, but we still want to improve it. We are preparing all kinds of activities and meetings in order to bring the headquarters and branches closer together. Q: How do you see Yad Sarah in ten years? A: Sometimes it is difficult to see that far ahead. There are many things we do today that I did not think we would be doing ten years ago. For example, I did not predict how involved we would be with home hospitalization or that we would establish an emergency medical center. What is clear is that we need to provide a strong foundation for the services we offer today, the things that we are doing today, to make them bigger, and more professional, and available to every person throughout the country. Another issue that needs to be addressed is disease prevention so less people need hospitals at all. Historically, when the state was established, government institutions were established: Health funds, the labor unions, hospitals. The bureaucracy slows down the functioning of the government institutions and they do not deal enough with prevention. The State Comptroller has warned of this more than once. There are private bodies that are doing well and are realizing extraordinary achievements. Israel is a testing ground for many medical advances and it has a world famous reputation. Individuals and companies in the private sector are succeeding, but the establishment and the bureaucracy are failing. We need to work to minimize the need for doctors and health fund services. I hope we can contribute our part in this important field as well. The Book of Ruth, which we read on the festival of Shavuot, revolves around the issue of mutual kindness and mutual assistance, starting with Abimelech and his sons, who did not do kindness to their neighbors, and left the Land of Israel, to the wonderful acts of grace of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. In this way, we can increase love and goodwill in Israel.

 
 
First in Israel: Emergency Medical Center Staffed by Specialists
The Frenkel Emergency Medical Center Opens in Jerusalem

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Following in the Footsteps of a Beloved Daughter
A grieving mother chooses to honor her daughter by volunteering at Yad Sarah

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A Wedding and Yad Sarah
Ella and Girsch, immigrants from the FSU, recommit to each other and to the Jewish people in a moving ceremony organized by their friends at Yad Sarah

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Yad Sarah and Tikvah4Parkinson
Yad Sarah News talks to Devorah (Debbie) Shapiro, the force behind the new treatment program for Parkinson's patients at Yad Sarah House in Jerusalem

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Third Graders Collect 500 Coins for Yad Sarah
The children wanted to help others less fortunate

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Giving Stays in the Family
Elisheva Printz, lending director of the Jerusalem region, writes about Yad Sarah's newest branch in Kiryat Ye'arim (Telz- Stone) under the direction of the Felheimer family. * The family is continuing its own tradition as well as that of Yad Sarah's, and has established a local branch in their home * Photography: David Rothner *

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Hagit Yasu Gives Back
Customers who come to the Yad Sarah branch in Sderot are surprised to see Hagit Yasu sitting in front of one of the computers. (pictured) Hagit is well known as the winner of the "Kochav Nolad" program six years ago and received lots of publicity following the win.

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Where Does a Family from Oklahoma Turn When They Need Help in a Medical Emergency? Why, to Yad Sarah, Of Course!

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How Yad Sarah Built a Wheelchair Especially for Me
David Rothner talks about Yad Sarah’s special role in the rehabilitation of Shai Ben Israel, a victim of the latest wave of terror

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Come Volunteer At Yad Sarah
Yad Sarah needs you! Join the Yad Sarah family and experience the joy and fulfillment of giving. There are a wide variety of ways to volunteer

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Our Young People Also Give Back
Thanks to Shmuel Friedman, a high school student who has been volunteering at Yad Sarah's Givataim branch this summer. Helping out in the computer department,Shmuel also helps people carry borrowed equipment to their cars. We wish him the best of luck in his studies next year at a Jerusalem yeshiva. To volunteer, please call *6444

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Beit Safafa: Amina Aliyan speaks the Yad Sarah language
YS site reporter Sumiya Al Nabari talks with the director of the Jerusalem Beit Safafa branch

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When Music Became Therapy
Hamutal Ben Or, director of the Day Rehabilitation Center at Yad Sarah House in Jerusalem, describes how as the music played, the patient with Parkinson's stopped shaking * Thanks to Musethica from all of us at Yad Sarah * Photographer: David Rothner

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Our Mobile Dental Clinics Go National
Yad Sarah founder Uri Lupolianski: There will be no elderly person unable to eat due to neglected dental treatment * Thanks to the assistance of the Helmsley Foundation, the dedicated staff of the Yad Sarah Mobile Dental Clinic will offer dental treatment to the homebound in every area of the country.

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The Yad Sarah Experience: Join our team of volunteer guides

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Yad Sarah is Now Part of the Fun in Jerusalem Family
When Fun in Jerusalem owner and creator Joanna Shebson was looking for a venue to host her family event, she chose Yad Sarah and became a fan

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